I Want a Movie! Now!

For those who can’t wait, Netflix and TiVo have an idea

Originally spotted in PVRBlog

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  • irihs

    Very cool! Especially since I don’t subscribe to and probably never will subscribe to the super fancy expensive cable packages that include major movie channels. I’d definitely consider this option if I were also able to download the extras on the DVDs, like commentary tracks and featurettes. I’m a sucker for those.

  • krellis

    Time to pick up that shiny new silver TiVo and load it up with a couple of 300 gig drives! :)

  • unteins

    Shoot, I didn’t pack enough drive space in my Tivo…..

    Definitely a cool concept, but I doubt they will have a distribution network to handle the demand. Maybe they will partner with Google (which probably has the largest distribution network in the world) to provide enough bandwidth. The service won’t do any good if it takes 3 days to download a movie.

    I wonder if they will offer a service discount if you opt for the internet only service.

  • drunkitty

    Now that would be cool.

  • academichussy

    As a subscriber to both, I can definitely see the benefits of this service. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks. For instance, I often take movies with me when I go visit my BF, and if these were copied down to my tivo, that would make it that much harder to do! Secondly, I still only have a standard Series 2 80g drive and with what is being recorded now, I simply do not have the room for additional movies. The other con is that my tv is HDTV and my tivo box is not. Even if a show is recorded in high, shows/movies look awfully pixelated. We also blame the fact that the HDTV set in the main living room is not of hte best quality. Since my original config did not include HDTV, my tivo is not one as well as we don’t have hdtv cable in that room since my tivo won’t support it. I’m also curious as to what the download speeds would be. A friend who set up the HMO between his two tivos using wireless was getting awful speeds between the sets, even though the network was 802.11g. It downloaded shows from one tivo to the other in “real time.” Not sure if this was simply a fuckup his network or what, but, waiting two hours to download a single movie would not be on my high list of things to do!

  • megazone

    It’ll take a lot more than two hours – probably more like 8-10 if it is a full DVD quality movie downloading over a standard broadband link. The limitation won’t be the network in the home – even today with the limitations of USB1.1 and 11b (the TiVo does not support 11g at all today) it is still much faster than the vast majority of broadband connections in the US. The bottleneck will be the broadband, especially once they enable USB2.0 – with 11g, or 100baseT, the LAN will be far faster than the pipe into the home for a while yet.

    But it is still faster than the postal service and a DVD. It isn’t VOD, it is a digital rental. It gets to you faster than the mail, and you don’t have to worry about returning anything. Which was half the concept behind those evil self-destructing, disposable DVDs that were test marketed for a while. Only this time we don’t fill landfills with needless plastic waste.

    I have an 80GB drive in my DVR-810H, and I record everything at High (which is different from High on a non-DVD unit, uses space closer to Best), but my drive is rarely near full. I usually fall slowly behind durng the week, then catch up on the weekends – this weekend I ran out of requested recordings on Sunday. I have the space for a movie or two – the most they’d use is 8.5GB, the capacity of a dual-layer DVD. But in reality it’d be a lot less than that, because dual-layer DVDs are rarely 100% full, and then some of that content is extras, alternate audio tracks, subtitles, menus, etc.

    On my standard TiVo I use Best for everything, I find ‘High’ just acceptable, but prefer Best for quality.

    It won’t be HD – but DVD’s aren’t HD either. The best a DVD can do is 480p, which is standard definition. The DVD TiVo units can output 480p, the other units do 480i – the same as any non-progressive DVD player. So the quality can be identical to DVD.

  • academichussy

    But it is still faster than the postal service and a DVD.
    While this may be true, to me there would be no difference. Turn around for me from Netflix is a day. And I don’t watch movies once they arrive either — I don’t have the time. The BF and I are starting to watch series disks of shows, so my netflix list is chock full of them. Most disks arriving are not using dual layer, they are using single layer and 99.9% of the movies I’ve rent have shown.
    We have three people who are using the tivo at my home and all the shows are recorded at medium. Even with that, and the fact that my tivo is cleaned out by me once every few days, shows that are not saved until I delete often end up showing up with a ! next to their name to indicate they will be deleted. I’d love to know how to see how much space is available on my Tivo — is there a way I can find out without actually getting into the unit itself?

  • megazone

    Single layer discs would use even less of the drive – max 4.7GB compared to 8.5GB.

    A Free Space Indicator is an oft-requested feature that TiVo hasn’t implemented. The only FSIs out there are hacks that require opening the unit.

    The poor man’s solution is to turn on TiVo Suggestions. Since Suggestions are always deleted first, you can treat them as ‘Free Space’ – and they will fill all available space after a little while. So as long as there are Suggestions, requsted recordings won’t be deleted. When all Suggestions are gone, requested recordings are next on the block.

    Just because a recording has ‘!’ doesn’t mean it will vanish soon – I’ve had recordings marked with ! hang around for a few months, the drive never got full enough that the space was needed. It just means that the recording is past the ‘Will be saved until’ date – but it isn’t deleted until absolutely necessary.